Thursday 25 July 2013

The name is Bond, Ruskin Bond

Mussoorie is known for many things. It is a popular honeymoon destination, it is the ‘queen of hill stations’, it has the ever-so-long and winding Mall Road speckled with shops selling everything from clothes to toys to accessories, eateries of all kinds, arcade game parlours and buildings from the Raj era. But its biggest claim to fame is being the home of author and storyteller Ruskin Bond. Having lived amid the mountains for most of his life, he permanently shifted base to Landour in Mussoorie in the 1960s, and he continues to live here with his adopted family even today.

On a recent trip to Mussoorie, I had the privilege of meeting him at the Cambridge bookstore located on Mussoorie’s Mall Road.
He visits the bookstore almost every Saturday to interact with his readers and do some book signings. Of course, his fans aren’t satisfied with a mere glimpse, so it often turns into a photo opportunity for most. But he kindly obliges and gently smiles as his fans go click-happy. I too had my five minutes of fame with this literary genius and I took the opportunity to do a quick rapid-fire interview with him. Here’s what he shared with me:

People often say that writing is an isolating process. What is your view on it?
It can be, but it isn’t always that way. Yes, I write better when I am sitting myself as I can focus without interruption, but I also spend ample time with my family. So I don’t really feel the isolation.

How many hours do you write for at one go?
Just about half an hour to an hour.

You’ve lived amid the mountains for so many years, don’t you ever wish to live elsewhere?
Not really. I do travel to Delhi quite often, and also to other cities once in a while, but this is my home. But I do like beaches so I like to travel down south every now and then.

How do you come up with such a wide variety of topics for your books?
I guess that is only upside to being so old (smiles). I have so many life experiences. They have given me the opportunity to come up with numerous topics and continue to do so.

If his intricate weaving of words hasn’t inspired you, his simplicity and kind smile are sure to do so. It truly was an honour to meet Mr Bond. And now you all know where you can go to meet him as well.

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